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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Turkey Demography

One of the central arguments of this blog is going to be that Demography Matters, especially in an economic context. One of the key points about why one can have a certain confidence that Turkey is now on a serious and sustained growth path, is that the age structure is arriving at just the right point to be able to really take advantage of a process known as the demographic dividend. Nowhere is this favourable movement in Turkey's age structure clearer than in the steady upward rise in the median age.

Two things should be immediately evident here. Firstly that during all those years of - often dramatic - economic instability Turkey's median age was fluctuating in the 20 to 24 range. Evidently a very difficult age this. Secondly, since 2000 Turkey's median age has been steadily climbing up the 25 - 30 range, and at this rate Turkey should enter the 30 age group - a very good period for sustained economic growth this - sometime after 2012.

Now one of the reasons that Turkey's median age has been rising has been the fact that Turkish fertility has been falling steadily.

As can be seen from the graph Turkey is now below the standard replacement fertility level of 2.1 (and has been since the late 1990s, at least if you accept the US census bureau data (which differs slightly from the Turkish Statistical Office version).

Another reason for the continuing rise in median ages is, naturally, the increase in Turkish life expectancy which has been taking place:

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